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5 Signs it’s time to retire your hair dryer

It screeches, it rattles, it smells funky — you’ve been holding on to that old hair dryer for years now, but it’s likely wreaking havoc on your locks. If these signs sound like you, it’s time to retire that old dryer in search of a new model!

Woman with hair dryer

You can’t see the filter
for the debris

Like your car’s air filter, the filter on your hair dryer can easily become clogged with hair, lint and other debris — which means it won’t be able to work properly. If you can, try combing off the debris with an old toothbrush — but if it’s clogged beyond repair, it’s time to say bye-bye.


It shakes and rattles

If you’re plagued with an annoying rattling, it’s likely you have a loose, broken or obstructed impeller (the plastic part inside the dryer where blades draw air in through the vents, push the air past the heating element and shoot it out). Impellers can be retightened or replaced — but repairs can get costly.


It wakes up your
entire family

Hair dryer

Is your dryer squeaking, squealing or screeching? If so, it’s likely that something’s caught in one of the fan blades — which could lead to a defective dryer or, most horrifically, it could cause something to catch on fire. The quick fix: Unplug and open your hair dryer and remove any foreign/stuck objects. If that doesn’t work, start comparing new models.


It takes longer to blow dry than it does to air dry

The more time you spend blow drying your hair, the more time you’re subjecting your strands to direct high heat — which means more time for causing damage.

If you can’t pull off the wet hair trend (a la Heidi Klum), shorten drying time by blow drying it in sections with the help of a wide-tooth comb. Use a large-barrel round brush once your hair is at least 85-90 percent dry to help it dry smoothly (which also cuts down on your flat iron use). If these steps still don’t help, hit the store — many models on the market can help cut drying time by 40-50 percent.


Your model doesn’t include words
like “ionic” or “tourmaline”

Hair dryers these days are made with a purpose: to help dry your hair quickly and smoothly.

Ionic dryers: Ideally, your locks should have balanced or neutral ions. Wet hair is positively charged, so ionic hair dryers work to blow out negative ions to restructure the ion balance in your hair. In the long run, ionic dryers are made to rehydrate and recondition your strands.

Tourmaline dryers: Similarly, tourmaline hair dryers use a type of gemstone to help dry hair faster and add shine.

If any of these signs sound like you, think seriously about replacing your old model with a new, better one today. Your hair depends on it!

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